Call for Papers

On February 11, 2021, pop star Taylor Swift announced the anticipated re-release of her 2008 album Fearless, a project launched following the contentious and public battle between Swift and her former label Big Machine Records. While specific and noteworthy in its particulars, this release also comprises one in a long series of re-visiting and re-versioning of the star’s life and output by Swift, the media, her fans, and her detractors. Listening to Swift’s releases as artifacts of the current digital age, this study day seeks to position Swift as a prism through which to examine intersecting issues in contemporary music industries and media ecosystems, from copyright and pandemic creation, to multimedia star texts and digital fan practices.

Topics under consideration might include (but are not limited to):

  • The Swift Star Text: music, social media, music video, documentary
  • Copyright, intellectual property, and re-release
  • Pandemic production and release
  • Genre negotiation: country, pop, folk, indie
  • Identity: girlhood, whiteness
  • Swiftian songwriting, narrative, autobiography
  • Digital fandom discourse and practices
  • Engagements between digital and material fandom
  • Collaboration: producers, co-writing, and featured vocals

Please send 250-word abstracts and a short 100 word bio to by 31 March 2021 (11:59pm EST). Default presentation format will be 20-minute presentations followed by 10 minutes of q&a; please let the organizers know if you are interested in presenting in a different format.

Organizers: Christa Anne Bentley (Oklahoma City University), Kate Galloway (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), and Paula Harper (Washington University in St. Louis)

This study day will take place virtually on 17 July 2021, from 9:00am to 7:00pm Eastern Standard time. Presenters will be notified of their acceptance by 15 April 2021. Panel scheduling for speakers will strive to accommodate time zone differences and child- and dependant-care needs.